Netgear wifi image
Wufoo Forms

A few tools come to mind when discussing database building.  Zenreach and Wufoo.  Zenreach is a wireless router that allows customers free wifi in return for their email address which you can later market to.  I know, I hate email marketing also with its terrible open rates but this is a bit different.  Zenreach sends out automatic emails based on individual customer visits.  For example, when a customer comes in and uses the wifi for the first time it will send out a “thank you for coming in” email with whatever message you want on it.  These can be anything from a simple thank you to a call to action redeemable on their next visit, to reputation management encouraging return visits.

It also reaches out to customers based on loyalty, multiple visits, birthdays and even if they haven’t been back in for a while it’ll give them an incentive to return.  The open rates for these are around 30% as opposed to traditional email marketing being closer to 6%.
The second huge database building tool I use daily is Wufoo which is basically online forms on your website that people fill out.   Anything from a simple “contact us” form to “book a VIP table” to making reservations.  When someone fills out these forms, Wufoo collects this info in a database that you can market to later.  Exporting to your email blast program is easy.  Also working these lists for birthday specials is quick and a great revenue generator.

There are tons of other methods to effectively build databases but keep in mind the value of each name you have.  Purchasing lists of people interested in “food and drink” in your area is a long shot and there’s nothing wrong with casting a wide net just don’t invest a ton of money into this as the value of each person on that list is minimal.

These two examples are REAL customers or people who have already shown an interest in your business, they are much higher valued contacts.  Bigger lists are not always better.  For more free tips check out the video blog page here.